Atlanta has become one of the most popular filming locations in the country after Los Angeles, particularly for the tax credits it offers production companies. Everything from Hunger Games to Fast and Furious 7, as well as television shows Teen Wolf and The Vampire Diaries has been filmed here. But no production has made as much of an impact as The Walking Dead.
The folks behind Atlanta Movie Tours saw an opportunity and have been running tours of area filming locations since January 2012. Founder Carrie Sagel Burns had a love for all things TWD and settled into a Castleberry Hill office that is now the tour company headquarters. You can also by snacks, gifts and movie and television memorabilia here.
Although I don’t watch the show much myself, I knew their tours were something I needed to check out, particularly the Big Zombie tour, just in time for Halloween. The tour started at the office, where we were led to our first TWD filming location.
We then hopped on a bus, where we were shown locations from The Walking Dead, Zombieland, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Internship and Anchorman 2, just to name a few. The tour was led by Charlie, an extra who has been a zombie on the show and has been in 35 movies.
While the tour focuses mostly on The Walking Dead, the stops are fascinating in their own right. The Southern Railway Building, shown in the first episode as Rick crosses the bridge to the building, was built in 1912 as the company headquarters, but is now vacant but owned by Norfolk Southern.
The Goat Farm Arts Center is an 1889 mill town and National Register of Historic Places site turned artist colony and event facility used in the episode “Vatos.”
Atlanta Movie Tours also runs a second TWD tour that starts in Senoia, a small town south of Atlanta where the current seasons are being filmed. You’ll see important sites from season two onward and could even run into one of the stars.
If you’re not a fan of zombies, you can appreciate the Atlanta Film Sites tour, which shows where Margaret Mitchell penned Gone with the Wind, as well as sites from Driving Miss Daisy, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Good Deeds, and Trouble with the Curve.
Guests should be 18 or accompanied by an adult on these tours. Most tours leave from the Atlanta office, apart from Big Zombie Part 2, which meets in Senoia. Atlanta Movie Tours suggests you arrive 30 minutes early to check in, use the restroom and purchase souvenirs. Dress comfortably, as there is walking on this tour, as well as time on the bus. Bring cash to tip your guides and to purchase coffee at the Goat Farm. Tours last three hours.
Atlanta Movie Tours provided us with two tickets for their Big Zombie Part 1 tour, but all opinions expressed here are the author’s. Header image courtesy of Atlanta Movie Tours, but all other photos are the property of the author.